By Cynthia Ruchti –
It happened on an ordinary afternoon. I made a small purchase at a local specialty store and paid for it with a credit card. Or rather, I tried.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but the charge wouldn’t go through.”
“What do you mean? We can’t have reached our limit. We never have more than a small amount charged to our credit card, and we pay it off completely every month, on time.”
“Sorry. The machine says your card is denied.”
I had other means to pay that day, so I did. When I got home, I called the credit card company.
“Yes,” the customer service rep said, “there’s been suspicious activity on your card. We shut it down. Weren’t you notified?”
Suspicious activity? Someone was using our account number?
“It happens far too frequently,” the customer service rep explained. “We’ll get everything straightened out eventually, but it may take several monthly bills to work through which charges are legitimately yours and which were made fraudulently.”
I understood why people say they feel as if they’ve been violated when someone steals their identity. It was an affront on all counts—financially, a time waste, a headache producer, and what seemed a never ending pattern of confusion as it took many months to sort it all out.
The thieves caused so much grief unrelated to the money. As grateful as we were for a cooperative card company with which to work, I still mourned the time drain and inconvenience.
Identity theft happens every day. And sometimes we hand it over to the thieves.
We forget that we are daughters and sons of the King of kings, and act like paupers instead. We fail to show our “I belong to Him” cards when loneliness threatens. We cower as if we have no power bestowed on us from the Conqueror. We wander in confusion, as if it’s impossible to know where we stand with Christ, even though He’s told us we are His “workmanship,” His handiwork (Ephesians 2:10).
Is that how we act? Or do we allow voices other than the voice of God to steal the identity of who we really are in Him? It’s a mess when that happens…a violation against us. And it can cripple someone not just for a few months of paperwork-straightening, but a lifetime of unnecessary and unwarranted shame and regret.
PRAYER: Lord, help me implement Your plan to guard against spiritual identity theft. Make me wise to what weakens my defenses.
“The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16 – 17 NIV).